World Class Cities: European vs. Washington, DC

by Karen Briscoe
July 18, 2018

People frequently travel abroad over the summer months.  A few years ago, my husband and I took a cruise on the Danube from Prague to Budapest.  On the journey we spent time in both Vienna, Austria as well as other small towns along the river.   I observed several key similarities to those world class European cities and Washington, DC.  Washington, DC was designed by a Frenchman:  Pierre L’Enfant in 1791 so has strong European roots.  

First, all are located on a river.  The cities Prague, Budapest and Vienna are located on the Danube.  The Potomac River banks the western border of Washington, DC (this occurred in 1846 when the portion that was previously deeded to be part of the District of Columbia on the west side of the Potomac River was retroceded to Virginia).  

All the cities offer boat rides along their respective rivers.  In Washington, DC there are boats that depart from Georgetown Waterfront Park and National Harbor in Maryland, offering fabulous views of the National Cathedral high up on the hill and many of the area monuments.  Boats travel down to Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon in Virginia and along the coastline in Maryland as well as to the Navy Yard and Wharf areas in DC.  

Another primary feature of a beautiful city is its parks and gardens.  High on the hill overlooking the Danube, the Prague Castle has magnificent gardens.  Vienna posts many inner-city gardens as a respite from city life:
Budapest too has many natural treasures to enjoy and explore:

Washington, DC has the National Mall which has the U.S. Capitol banking the northern end, the Washington Monument banking the southern and various Smithsonian Museums flanking both sides.  All the European cities noted boast fabulous museums, too many to mention.  Children can enjoy the carousel and pedal boats are available to rent to paddle around the Tidal Basin.  

In Washington, DC there is green space between the Washington Monument and the White House, known as the Ellipse.  The Ellipse is home to the National Christmas Tree and corresponding holiday celebrations every year.  On the other side of the White House is Lafayette Park, named in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. 
Landmarks and monuments abound in these European cities.  There are numerous well-visited monuments and memorials along the Potomac River in DC:  Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, World War II, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  The Tidal Basin is gorgeous in the springtime when the famous Japanese cherry trees are in bloom.  The Cherry Blossom festival annually attracts visitors worldwide.    

A professional Realtor® is well versed on the attributes that make a city “world class”. Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and their team of agents with HBC Group at KW are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland market place and would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:  703-734-0192,, website:

Karen Briscoe is a partner of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group (HBC). The HBC Realty Group has been named to the Wall Street Journal Top Realtor® Team List. Over the years, the group has sold over 1,000 homes valued at over $1 billion...
Log Out
Log In